Ph.D. Graduate Program in the Department of Biological Sciences
Students begin their Ph.D. career at Duquesne with coursework and laboratory rotations. At the end of the first year, students choose a Ph.D. mentor. At the end of the second year, students must pass a comprehensive Qualifying Exam. Successful completion of the Qualifying Exam is required to proceed in the Ph.D. program.
The majority of the coursework is completed before the Qualifying Exam. Students must maintain a 3.0 QPA. Teaching and research assistantships providing tuition and a support stipend are available for qualified Ph.D. candidates.
Research is the Focus of the Ph.D. Program
The main requirement for the Ph.D. degree, beyond the coursework and Qualifying Exam, is for the student to carry out a research project that significantly enhances the understanding of their field. The best evidence for this is publication of the research in peer-reviewed journals and presentations at national or international meetings. The student finishes their degree by writing a Ph.D. dissertation, presenting a seminar to the Department on their work, and successfully defending the dissertation to their Faculty Committee.
Because the amount of time needed to complete the research varies, there is no exact timeline for completion of the Ph.D. degree. Finishing the Ph.D. research usually takes three years after the successful completion of the Qualifying Exam and it must be completed by 7 years after the successful completion of the Qualifying Exam.